It is essential. Your death will have a significant impact on your family. Speak about it together. Watch the video (in French) and then read our 6 tips below to get you started.
We prefer not to talk about when we will no longer be around.
20% of Belgians have never thought about what would happen to their families if they were to die. 31% have thought about it – women more than men – but not more. 29% of Belgians who have thought about it have not yet discussed it with their spouse, children or a friend. Talking about death is almost as taboo as talking about sex or mental illness.
How will your family pay the bills when you are no longer around?
Even if we prefer not to talk about death, 54% of Belgians are aware that their family may face certain financial difficulties in the event of unexpected death. The death of a breadwinner could therefore represent a real financial catastrophe for Belgians aged 35 to 49. 65% of this group expect to encounter problems. This percentage is even as high as 79% in the growing group of single-parent families, as the water, gas and electricity bills will still have to be paid, the car loan will still have to be reimbursed and children's education costs a lot of money.
Is your car better insured than your family?
The death of a breadwinner can put relatives in serious financial difficulty. However, 91% of Belgians do not have insurance to protect their family's standard of living, yet their cars, homes and trips are well insured. It is hard to believe, but it is true.
Talk about it before it is too late.
We wish you a long life, of course, but unfortunately no one can be sure about this. Everything could end suddenly. So do not wait until it is too late to talk about the future. Here are some helpful tips:
1. Ask yourself what you would like your family's future to be like when you are no longer around.
Start by asking yourself what your family's situation would be like after your death. Would they be able to keep the house? Would your partner be able to continue working, and what about childcare or education? Gather concrete figures on your financial situation today and the day you are no longer around. For example, it may be useful to do this and speak about it at a time when you need to make an important decision in your life, such as buying a house, changing jobs, etc.
2. Speak, but also listen.
You have thought about what you want when you will no longer be around, but the person you speak with may not have thought about it yet. So do not just talk about your point of view, but also give him or her the opportunity to express his or her ideas and feelings. A calm discussion will help you to determine together what you think is important if one of you dies.
Watch this short film (in French) to hear how Cindy and her grandmother talk about their main fears regarding the future. More tips under the short film.
3. Choose a comfortable place to talk.
Talking about death at home while cooking or with children running around would not be ideal. These things are often much easier in a neutral setting, during a walk, for example, or over a drink.
4. Let your emotions speak for themselves, but avoid arguments.
Emotions can be high when it comes to talking about life after death and this could trigger an argument, but try to avoid it as much as possible. Listen calmly to each other's feelings and ask about the reasons for certain feelings. You will thus be able to take these feelings into account and think about a plan for the future together.
5. Remember that talking about a subject as sensitive as death can strengthen your bonds.
Speaking openly about what will happen if one of you dies will strengthen your shared sense of responsibility. This will be a positive experience for both of you.
Discover in this short film (in French) how Bart and Philippe came to the conclusion that they wanted to continue to take care of each other, even after death.
And read under the film how you can do it too.
6. Make a plan for the future together.
A good discussion about death would be very useful, but not enough. Do not forget to speak about things which would need to be settled for later. Speaking with your insurance broker about life insurance, for example, would be a good idea.
No one likes to talk about death, because it is painful to think about it and it can trigger overwhelming emotions. Speaking with your family about what will happen when you are no longer around and preparing a plan for the future together can be extremely reassuring.
The people in this short film (in French) talked about death with their loved ones.
We wish you the strength to talk about it as well. Good luck!
Death insurance will help you to protect your family's financial future. Would you like to know more about it? Ask your insurance broker for advice.